The success story begins in 1920 when pistons made of heavy gray cast iron were being used in internal combustion engines for automobiles. The Mahle brothers countered this trend by producing light-alloy pistons at their small, newly established company—but the technology is still finicky and problems come up frequently. To keep dirt and dust out of the engine, they eventually developed air and oil filters as well. Their perseverance paid off: the light-alloy pistons began to take over the market. Nowadays, half of all automobiles produced worldwide contain MAHLE components.